Congressman Jeff Flake Flakes on Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Well that didn't take long.

Just over a month after announcing his candidacy for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl, Congressman Jeff Flake has gone the route of Senator John McCain and caved to Arizona's culture of Conservative kookdom by abandoning his support of comprehensive immigration reform.

Flake, a one-time rare-for-Arizona Republican advocate of a guest-worker program and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, now says he's only focused on securing the border.

"In the past I have supported a broad approach to immigration reform -- increased border security coupled with a temporary worker program. I no longer do," Flake says in a statement first published by the Arizona Republic.

"I've been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable given the current leadership. Border security must be addressed before other reforms are tackled."

Flake is the only declared candidate for the seat, but there are rumors other far-right-wing border hawks -- like Congressman Trent Franks, former TV pitchman J.D. Hayworth, and even former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- are considering a run.

Flake's prior position on immigration reform hasn't exactly made him one of the cool kids among Arizona's GOP brass, either, which likely played a role in his flip-flop.

Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman Rob Haney is campaigning against Flake's candidacy in his push to get Franks to run for the seat. See some of the anti-Flake links posted on a Haney-backed Conservative website here

Not to mention, last month, Haney sent an email to county GOPers urging them to write to Franks and ask him to run.

We figured Flake would have to make certain concessions in order to appease the far right, we just didn't anticipate a flip-floppy, McCain-esque, "Fix the Dang Fence" campaign before he even had a primary opponent.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King